Thursday, September 18, 2014

70's Rock & Roll Machines

Part three in my record shopping spending spree while killing time downtown in between work meetings. The lesson here is that I'm dangerous with a combination of free time and record stores.

After picking up a couple records at Bull Moose, I figured that I'd head up to Strange Maine to check their used record bins. Every once in a while, you can find some hidden gems in this store, but this trip was a bust, and I walked out of there empty handed. Oh well, no big deal, it was getting late, and it was time for me to head back to meet my clients, as we were going to be hopping onto a ferry and taking a trip over to one of the islands for dinner. I started walking back to the ferry terminal when I noticed a sign on the sidewalk, advertising used vinyl. It was a tiny hole in the wall place called Electric Buddahs, and I wasn't expecting much, and figured that I had 5 minutes to spare, so what harm was there in stopping? To my surprise they had a small, but great selection of old Rock records, and with little time to spare, I grabbed a handful of 70's classic rock, and quickly ran for the boat.

Before releasing some classic early 80's Metal under the shortened name of Y&T, the band released two albums in the late 70's as Yesterday & Today. I'd never really paid the band much attention as a kid. Sure I had a cassette copy of their 1985 live show in San Francisco that I recorded with my tape deck from MTV, and I played that thing to death...but outside of that live recording, I never bothered buying any of their albums. Those early teen years saw my musical tastes grow and change at a rapid pace, and while I'd spent the summer of '85 with that live cassette, soon after I was moving on to bands that were heavier and faster. Y&T were soon forgotten. Thanks to the power of the internet and stolen downloads, I've rediscovered the band. I loved the band's second album, Struck Down, when I heard it four or five years ago, and when I found a copy at Electric Buddahs, I was very happy to finally buy a copy.

Like most bands that started in the 70's, I've spent most of my life generally ignoring or downright despising them based on their 80's output. Triumph were one of those bands. I knew the name, but growing up, they weren't nearly heavy enough for my tastes, so they were ignored. After reading Martin Popoff's Ye Olde Metal: 1977 book, and the chapter on Triumph's Rock & Roll Machine, I figured that I'd give the album a shot. Since I'm writing about the album here, it is obvious that I loved it. Unfortunately, Triumph liked to make things confusing, and they released two albums with the name Rock & Roll Machine...the original 1977 album, and then a compilation released in 1980 that contained songs from their first two records (not to mention a later pressing of the comp with a different album cover). In my confusion, I bought the comp. Oh well, the songs are still great, and the record cover is full of late 70's awesomeness.

Gold promo stamp on the back.

Again Martin Popoff is to blame for my introduction to Bad Company. I'd never paid them any attention, but in reading the Ye Olde Metal: 1979 book, with an interview that referred to them as just a simple blues based rock band...that was all I needed to hear, and I was off downloading their Desolation Angels album from that year. Like Triumph, I was surprised by how much I liked it...hell, even their Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy song was sounding great. Maybe it is a nostalgia kick, as these songs were all over the radio as I was a kid, but I'm loving this 70's shit right now. Buying this vinyl was a no brainer to me when I saw it.

While I was holding the copy of Desolation Angels, I noticed that there were a few other Bad Company records available as well. I remembered a conversation that I'd had with my friend Jeff, a few months earlier, about Bad Company, where he told me that if I liked Desolation Angels, I really needed to check out Bad Company's second album, Straight Shooter. I hadn't heard the album yet, but figured that I'd take the chance. More solid rock from the 70's. Right on.

Okay...I didn't pick up this Blackfoot album during this 70's shopping spree at Electric Buddahs, but it fits the theme for the post so here it is. Jeff ended up giving me this copy of Marauder as he had an extra copy. While it was actually released in 1981, this album screams 70's rock. Very much in the southern rock vein, with a healthy dose of Ted Nugent thrown in, this band is pretty solid. I wasn't thrilled with the promo saw cut, or the price sticker on the front of the album, but hey, it was free, so I'll rock it.

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